Deployment expands access to PacBio’s highly accurate long reads on the African continent for a variety of applications, from ethnic-specific reference genomes to COVID-19 research
MENLO PARK, Calif. and PRETORIA, South Africa, April 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB), a leading provider of high-quality sequencing of genomes, transcriptomes, and epigenomes, and inqaba biotec, the leading commercial DNA sequencing service provider in sub-Saharan Africa, today announced the addition of a PacBio Sequel II System to inqaba biotec’s portfolio of genomics services. Based on the well-established Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing technology, the Sequel II System offers highly accurate long reads, with 15x more data compared with the original Sequel System.
“We are very pleased to make the PacBio Sequel II System available to researchers on the African continent. In addition to its highly accurate HiFi reads, customers can expect drastically reduced project costs and higher throughput,” said Oliver Preisig, PhD, Executive Director of Inqaba Biotechnical Industries. “As Africa’s Genomics Company, we are particularly excited to be surrounded by such a high degree of biodiversity.”
“It is expected that with data from the Sequel II System, we will now be able to generate highly accurate ethnic-specific human genome datasets to further increase our understanding of population genetics and disease response in Africa, which has greater levels of genetic diversity than any other part of the world,” says Raj Ramesar, Professor and Head of the Division of Human Genetics at the University of Cape Town.
The PacBio Sequel II System is capable of comprehensive variant detection, from single base changes to multi-kilobase structural variants, and can be used for a broad range of applications including whole-genome, amplicon, and full-length transcriptome sequencing, as well as epigenetic characterization. With longer HiFi reads and higher throughput, the Sequel II System will allow inqaba biotec to assemble not only human genomes but also those of plants and animals unique to the African continent.
inqaba biotec also anticipates using the Sequel II System to support regional COVID-19 studies. PacBio is partnering with researchers worldwide to develop protocols using HiFi sequencing to investigate the genetics and epidemiology of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which will aid in understanding and managing the spread of COVID-19. PacBio’s highly accurate long-read sequencing technology has already been used to study other infectious viruses including HIV, HCV, HSV and influenza, and inqaba biotec will provide support to African researchers interested in investigating them and the diseases they cause.
“PacBio is proud to partner with inqaba biotec to establish them as our first Sequel II System service provider for the entire African continent,” said Jonas Korlach, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Pacific Biosciences. “We are excited to support efforts underway to sequence human genomes and non-human endemic species for diversity research with our highly accurate HiFi sequencing.”
About Inqaba Biotechnical Industries (Pty) Ltd (www.inqababiotec.co.za)
Inqaba Biotechnical Industries (Pty) Ltd, trading as inqaba biotec, is a unique South African Genomics company with a broad footprint in sub-Saharan Africa having offices in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Senegal as well. Established in 2002, it is the leading company in Africa that provides a full range of DNA sequencing and DNA synthesis services. The company also distributes life and molecular diagnostics products from well-known brands.
About Pacific Biosciences
Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB) offers sequencing systems to help scientists resolve genetically complex problems. Based on its novel Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) technology, Pacific Biosciences’ products enable: de novo genome assembly to finish genomes in order to more fully identify, annotate and decipher genomic structures; full-length transcript analysis to improve annotations in reference genomes, characterize alternatively spliced isoforms in important gene families, and find novel genes; targeted sequencing to more comprehensively characterize genetic variations; and real-time kinetic information for epigenome characterization. Pacific Biosciences’ technology provides high accuracy, ultra-long reads, uniform coverage, and the ability to simultaneously detect epigenetic changes. PacBio® sequencing systems, including consumables and software, provide a simple, fast, end-to-end workflow for SMRT Sequencing. More information is available at www.pacb.com.